President Introduces Nominee to Direct Counterterrorism Center

During visit to new National Counterterrorism Center, Bush promotes Retired Vice Admiral John Redd as director


President Bush visited the new National Counterterrorism Center on Friday, introducing his nominee for director to employees and voicing confidence that they were breaking down the barriers that hobbled the American intelligence bureaucracy before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

''Sept. 11 showed that protecting America requires that we remove walls between agencies,'' Mr. Bush said, one day after a Justice Department inspector general's report disclosed additional lapses by the F.B.I. before the attacks.

Before the 2001 attacks, he acknowledged, ''we kind of all went our merry way.''

''There was some interagency dialogue, but not a lot,'' the president added. ''And we learned a lesson about having walls between our agencies, and we're tearing those walls down.''

Creating the counterterrorism center, in Tysons Corner, Va., was a central recommendation of the independent bipartisan commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Bush announced on Friday that he would nominate a retired vice admiral, John S. Redd, as director of the center. If confirmed by the Senate, Admiral Redd, 60, would succeed the acting director, John Brennan. The admiral was most recently executive director of the Silberman-Robb presidential commission. The panel investigated intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs before the United States-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein. Before serving with the commission, Admiral Redd was deputy administrator of the civilian authority that oversaw Iraq.

Admiral Redd would work closely with John D. Negroponte, the new director of national intelligence. That post was also created on the recommendation of the Sept. 11 commission, which concluded after months of investigation that the Federal Bureau of Investigation made serious mistakes before the attacks, as did the Central Intelligence Agency.

The commission found, among other factors, that F.B.I. officials had failed to follow up on warnings from agents before Sept. 11 that Middle Eastern extremists were training at American aviation schools. The commission found, too, that the intelligence agency had failed to share information with the bureau that might have helped its agents track down the eventual hijackers.

A joint Congressional inquiry in 2002 came to similar conclusions. And the Justice Department inspector general's report, released Thursday, disclosed still more instances in which investigators were stymied by bureaucratic sloth.

The director of national intelligence and the counterterrorism center are supposed to see that clues to terrorist plots are shared among agencies.